A bumpy start in my first trip to Brasil and specifically São Paulo, but things picked up on our first and second day. The first day was interesting in learning some Portuguese terms, which we are constantly using on a daily basis slowly increasing our phrases. The research opportunities with the University of São Paulo are endless depending on the type of research you are looking into. Make contact with Campus B to get an insight into the professoro/a and lecturers details.
Our first haerenga was to the Mercado Municipal, where the small Português we knew came in handy, but also was a hindrance. The ability to introduce ourselves “Meu nome é Anahera” and say “Não falo e Português”, stopped them in their tracks. But that they couldn’t speak English meant having the wonderful Talita from Campus B to translate on our behalf was really handy. The kai as always is something that we look forward to and these were outstanding, different and wonderful.
The sandwiches and pastie that were recommended was massive to say the least. It was like a triple Big Mac burger but just meat and cheese. The local fish (cod) in rememberance of the relationship with Portugual, and olives was divine. There were very few considerations for Vegan and Vegetarian, but we were lucky to find something that suited our students with different dietary needs.
This was a warm up for my final destination in having a date with “Batman”. On our entrepid journey we met a group of students from Brasil and currently in São Paulo who had a 12 month exchange in Aotearoa New Zealand. My moko kauae, confirmed for them where I came from. It was fun to catch up with others from Aotearoa New Zealand, but it was our first day and I had other things on my mind!
As we continued our journey things started to get exciting as we viewed the local graffiti in “Batman” alley. Starting with Joker and Two-face to the group taking a picture with Adam West (Batman) hugging Pele, a famous football player from Brasil, finally seeing the Batman spotlight symbol.
As we move into the discussion on Indigenous rights and Brazilian politics, opened the eyes of all participants in the frankness of the questions being asked by the lecturer. The open discussion was well received and the following trip around old São Paulo into the new was fantastic. An orientation that met our cultural needs in connecting with the whenua and the history of the land. Something that we normally do when having a pōwhiri onto the marae into whakawhanaungatanga and then the kōrero nehe of the region. There are some beautiful buildings which you possibly would not note if you did not do a tour of the city.
It would be an excellent opportunity in the future to exchange with Campus B or University of São Paulo students if they get a chance to come to our city and university. I know that we have the skills to manaaki our manuhiri (visitors) well.
Tchau for now whānau. Catch you when we hit Ubatuba.